Clash of Intrastate and Interstate Commerce in Los Angeles

Once again, the nine robed federal employees filling seats at the Supreme Court failed to check constantly expanding federal power.

The feds have tried to unconstitutionally regulate intrastate commerce in many ways through agencies under the purview of the executive branch. Using a several different alphabet agencies, they have maintained  bans on hemp and marijuana, and even regulated food, environmental conditions and  firearms within the borders of individual states.

While the Constitution delegates power to the federal government for regulation of interstate commerce – trade crossing state lines – the federal government was never intended to interfere with economic activity confined within the borders of the state.

On June 13, the Supreme Court rubber stamped this unconstitutional exercise of federal power, concluding federal acts override state and local laws.

In 1997, the Port of Los Angeles (“the Port”) introduced a plan to expand its cargo terminals to better accommodate its high shipping volume. Following public concern that the plan could significantly increase air pollution, the Board of Harbor Commissioners adopted a Clean Air Action Plan (“CAAP”). The CAAP aimed to reduce emissions and specifically targeted the Port’s drayage truck business. Roughly 16,000 drayage trucks regularly serve the Port, transporting goods between customers and the cargo terminals. Beginning in 2008, the CAAP banned drayage trucks from the Port, unless the carriers entered into a series of concession agreements. These agreements imposed a progressive ban on older trucks and provided incentives for drayage truck operators to convert their aging fleets to cleaner trucks.

American Trucking Associations (“ATA”), a national association of motor carriers, challenged several provisions within the concession agreements and brought suit against the City of Los Angeles and its Harbor Department. ATA argued that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (“FAAA”) preempted the agreements. The FAAA Act prohibits a state from enacting any regulation related to the “price, route, or service of any motor carrier.” ATA claimed that the concession agreements amounted to such a regulation. ATA further argued that the State could not limit a federally licensed motor carrier’s access to a port.”

The FAAA legitimately preempts state and local laws when regulating commerce in such places as ports, where interstate and foreign commerce takes place. However, off-site parking falls under to state and local authority and not federal regulation. But the Supremes opined that since neither California nor the city of Los Angeles ever had a problem with FAAA regulating things just outside the port before, well, then it’s just fine and dandy for the feds to regulate it under the FAAA now. Therefore, the strict regulations imposed by the state of California and the city of Los Angeles are now null and void under this ruling. Not only that, the FAAA can stop a city or state from preventing trucks access to a port based on consignments of statute all across the U.S.

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Federal Court Decides: Federal Rangers Supreme

In a move that would make Joseph Story and John Marshall rise from their graves and offer him high-fives, 10th Circuit Judge David Nuffer made himself the sole arbiter of federal and state powers, ruling last Friday that federal park rangers’ authority supersedes that of the State of Utah in matters concerning local law.nuffer

Gov. Gary Herbert signed  HB155, on April 3. The new law prohibits federal Land Management officers from acting as agents of state and local law by “limiting the authority of specified federal employees to exercise law enforcement authority within Utah.” The bill came in response to officers of the Forestry Service taking it upon themselves to administer local traffic laws, making such unauthorized actions class-B misdemeanors; punishable by a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

We don’t want Utah citizens going before a federal magistrate for a speeding ticket,” said Utah AG Swallow, in the AG’s press release on May 13. “Federal officers should be enforcing federal laws and state and local officers should be enforcing state and local laws. We are concerned about the federal government once again encroaching on states rights and we will vigorously defend the constitutionality of HB 155.[Emphasis added.]

Federal attorneys promptly sued, and on May 13th, Nuffer granted a temporary injunction, stopping the law from taking effect. Last Friday’s ruling extends the injunction until the issue is settled at trial.

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If You Like The Surveillance State, You’ll Love E-Verify

by Ron Paul

From massive NSA spying, to IRS targeting of the administration’s political opponents, to collection and sharing of our health care information as part of Obamacare, it seems every day we learn of another assault on our privacy. Sadly, this week the Senate took another significant, if little-noticed, step toward creating an authoritarian surveillance state. Buried in the immigration bill is a national identification system called mandatory E-Verify.

The Senate did not spend much time discussing E-Verify, and what little discussion took place was mostly bipartisan praise for its effectiveness as a tool for preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining employment. It is a tragedy that mandatory E-Verify is not receiving more attention, as it will impact nearly every American’s privacy and liberty.

The mandatory E-Verify system requires Americans to carry a “tamper-proof” social security card. Before they can legally begin a job, American citizens will have to show the card to their prospective employer, who will then have to verify their identity and eligibility to hold a job in the US by running the information through the newly-created federal E-Verify database. The database will contain photographs taken from passport files and state driver’s licenses. The law gives federal bureaucrats broad discretion in adding other “biometric” identifiers to the database. It also gives the bureaucracy broad authority to determine what features the “tamper proof” card should contain.

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The true meaning of the 4th of July

This coming Thursday, many of us will have a day off from work and be home to have a barbecue, watch the fireworks and proudly fly our American flag.

This uniquely American holiday is a time to reflect on the greatness of our Nation and its people.

However, it is not really a time to celebrate as “Americans”. It is a time to celebrate as sovereign people of the States. The Fourth of July was the day (it was actually a few days earlier) the people of the thirteen colonies through their representatives in the Congress, declared to the world that they were now independent and free States. Free from the King and Parliament and a centralized government. However, it would take a long and bloody war to actually permit these newly independent Sates to remain free.

The Declaration of Independence was signed by men who knew they were risking their “Lives, fortunes and sacred honor”. According to the King, they were all traitors who warranted death.

When the war finally came to a successful end the King and Parliament had no choice but to declare that the thirteen States were now free. The first Article of the Treaty of Paris that ended the war stated:

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Waging War On Obamacare At the State Level

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Americans instinctively turn to Washington D.C. for solutions to their problems.

Take the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As the Obama administration pushed toward implementation of the national health care program, opponents pleaded with their representatives and senators in Congress to repeal or defund it. They marched to D.C. in protest. They held their breaths right up until the moment the Supreme Court let them down. And then they tried desperately to find new angles for lawsuits.

Yet implementation keeps right on moving forward.

Some activists have recognized the futility of stopping the PPACA through D.C. and continue to battle at the state level. Kentucky Tea Party activist David Adams stands among these warriors fighting to cut off implementation of Obamacare at the root.

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Wisconsin Representative Introduces Firearms Freedom Act

MADISON, Wisc. – Last month, Wisconsin Rep.  Michael Schraa introduced the Wisconsin Firearms Freedom Act in a speech on the capitol steps in Madison.

“The reason we are gathered here today is because we have a few radicals in Washington D.C. that think all of us law abiding citizens in this country are not responsible enough to own firearms. Well, I have a message for all of those radicals in Washington. Wisconsin will not help you take away our Second Amendment rights,” he said.

WATCH IT:

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Federal Laws: To Infinity and Beyond!

How many federal laws are on the books?  500?  1,000?  5,000?  Go ahead, take a guess.

Give up?

Yeah, well, so does the Library of Congress.  In an attempt to answer the frequent question of how many federal laws there are, Senior Legal Research Specialist Shameema Rahman recently reported that “trying to tally this number is nearly impossible.”  Well, that’s great.  Congress has officially passed so many laws that their own repository of documentation can’t even keep track of them all.

As it turns out, the federal government hasn’t been able to keep track of their own laws for quite some time.  Rahman reports that, “in an example of a failed attempt to tally up the number of laws on a specific subject area, in 1982 the Justice Department tried to determine the total number of criminal laws. In a project that lasted two years, the Department compiled a list of approximately 3,000 criminal offenses.”

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Nullification Flames Spreading

Last week, I sat on a panel flanked by a Commonwealth Foundation activist discussing Obamacare expansion in Pennsylvania and the co-author of Glenn Beck’s novel Agenda 21 discussing one-world government creepiness.

The state nullification angle – mine – was enthusiastically embraced by the group, most of whom never heard of Tom Woods, the Tenth Amendment Center or the Jeffersonian view asserting states stand as the final arbiter of the limits of federal constitutional authority.

Later, the larger group broke into smaller ‘action’ groups – Agenda 21, Obamacare and Second Amendment preservation.  I was assigned to the latter group, and we began our activist training focusing on lobbying, educating and refuting. On the subject of refuting, we walked through the common objections to state nullification. (supremacy clause, neo-confederatism, racism, etc.) These folks – just introduced to the topic of nullification – were already brainstorming on how to spread their knowledge.

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